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Spoiler time!

The Final Countdown

The issue begins with Eggman driving away from Crystal Sonic, accusing Walter of being cheap. Walter states the love and war line, stating that he loves doing so against Eggman. Then we get a  double splash page of Eggman running for Crystal, Hood, Nephthys, and Ahklut fighting the Witchcarters, Axel being dragged through the air by Wendy, and everyone else fighting Badniks. Ahklut notes how savage Bearenger is, Nephthys knocks down Carrotia as part of the job before thanking BattleLord for air support, Maw tells her he won't repeat his trick because he's too close to comrades, Thunderbolt feels conflicted destroying Badniks, and Hood has Focke Wulf SUBMIT! Wendy crystallizes Axels hook and asks Walter for help, but they are both too occupied controlling their puppets. Wendy gets her Witchcart destroyed by Eggman's drill launch, causing Walter to have Crystal homing attack him into an explostion. Eggman emerges in his unamed armor, backhands Crystal, No sells the Twins' crystal attack, and punches Wally in the stomach. Wendy sheepishly opts to let him handle Eggman, leaving her open for Clove to arrest her from behind with her scythe to her neck and Hood to keep down the pile of Witchcarters with his Vertigo Inducers. Eggman tosses Naugus aside and uses his hand cannon to bring this good thing to an end. Crystal moves in front of the back, shorting out Eggman's armor, cleaning Metal of the crystals, and ending their 5 page long battle. Eggman is informed by Axel that Walter is missing, most likely scuttled off to the shadows to plot and feel sorry for himself. Eggman states that Wendy has been the real threat, causing her to handwave that she isn't the conquest type. Eggman points out that he lost a lot of badniks, orders her to release the rest, and tells Clove to reap what Wendy's sown. Wendy objects that they've work together in the past and she can find even more ancient relics beyond that. Eggman and Axel both note that Eggman's wanted an even number of Egg Bosses and he doesn't have a mystical element expert yet. Wendy completes the deal by stating she doesn't even need troop supplying and promising that Eggman won't regret it. Eggman has Mordred and Witchcart do their thing to the WItchcarters, welcomes Egg Boss Wendy to the Egg Army, and radios Orbot to bring the Drop Ship and prep the Injector, to Wendy's embarassment. Then we get several pages of the Egg Bosses returnning home:

  • Kukku XV tells Speedy that it was an adequate conquest and it feels good to be back in the sky;
  • Captain Abyss swims into her angler-shaped base and orders all hands to prepare for a raid because her blood is up;
  • Lord Hood grumpily states that the Woodland Kingsmen can jump off a cliff because he only feels like having feast right now in Egg Castle;
  • Conquering denies rest at Egg Dojo in favor of learning of the state of the Base Construction and that the local spirit has changed...;
  • Nephthys asks for some Masala chai(?) and checks in with the Desert Raiders, stating the destruction of some of Eggman's Infrastructure and freeing of a lot of Mobini went well, removing her mask while doing so, revealing a cybernetic ridden metal face and purple-ish eyes;
  • Cassia and the Soldiers have arranged a welcome back party for Clove at Stone Stormlands Zone to show how much they appreciate what she's done;
  • Thunderbolt struts through her Rocky Jungle Zone base as Eggman's right-hand woman, learns that Team Bravo recovered Master Emerald Shards, and has them stashed for the next time their temperamental glorious master needs to be reminded of her greatness;
  • Tundra is approached by an ignorant Egg Soldier while staring at the sunset, prompting an out of context speech about how he's been fighting all his life, lost his family, and that he and his men plan to fight on knowing his most hated rival still lives;
  • Akhlut surfs to base aboard a SLoW manta badnik and states he found blood and glory by and rekindled an old rivalry, and he plans to bring his lax monitoring Dr. a unified North Pole as forgiveness for having one less minion...;
  • Axel finishes a story about his speech writing skills before learning that SOnic is heading for the Temple, giving him the chance to try Eggman's gift early;
  • Maw returns to Red Outback Zone and tells a scientist Eggman has entrusted them with an experimental new roboticize and mentions to the confused scientist that it is a promising new approach that need lots and lots of testing while eyeing Tassel Boy.

Finally, Eggman gives Witchcart instructions to find a Cacophonic Conch, being confused that he could've sworn he had one and as to what a Zeti is. He tells her to explain after she finds the shell, and she is send off giving a blow kiss to her Boss. He then declines a massage from Cubot after last time, savors all his resounding victory with some gloating, and tells Orbot to add it to all the others. The story ends somewhere else. with Naugus cursing Eggman and Wendy for robbing and betraying him, before stating that he has other ways to restore his powers as he channels energy from what looks like the Master Emerald....

 

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30 minutes ago, Detective Reptiles said:

 

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Five pages for Crystal Sonic vs Eggman? Huh.

Oh, and I see that all the extra hero factions now have non-FF group titles; The Wolf Pack, the Desert Raiders, the Shijin Warriors and the Woodland Kingsmen.

 

 

Well, by 5 pages, I meant more like 3 pages with panels of them running around and 2 pages of Eggman curbstomping Crystal and Walter with his armor. It is surprisingly underplayed.

And yes, every hero faction has a title except Mighty and Ray, which not to be a pessimist, butt I kinda hope it stays that way.

There are other little intricacies that I neglected to mention because they didn't factor into the story, except Ahklut surfing.

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1 minute ago, Detective Reptiles said:

 

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I...was kinda expecting an assurance that there was more, not less.

This isn't much of an Eggman arc is it.

 

Ehhh, more or less. It depends on how you look at it: glass half empty or glass half full. We learned some info on Troll civilization, we got character establishing for the Witchcarters, Eggman was fighting along side his agents for what belongs to him, we got character development for not only him but his Egg Boss as well, who more or less function as lower rank villains on their own, and we got setup for more Eggman based operations and plans in future stories.

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Got 86 today. 

Spoiler

Its ok. Yea,Walter and Wendy go down pretty handily, roughly ten pages, and the rest of the issue is a denouement with each boss returning to their respective base, seemingly motivated by the events of the arc. It also sets the stage for issues #280-282. 

Weirdly, its Walter who leaves Wendy behind after things go south and Wendy begs for her life and Eggman conscripts her (because he wanted an even number of Egg bosses :V) So his statement on the last page is pretty weird considering he was the one who left her behind, but eh. 

So yea, I feel like more time should have been spent on the actual battle than the denouement; considering we only needed to see three bosses getting prepared for Sonic & co's attacks in the respective issues.

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Spoiler

That's true, but at the same time it's still nice to see what they're all doing. They're all really good characters, and seeing how the events of this story have effected them are a nice touch. I like what I read about Clove's unit throwing her a party.

 

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Alright. So I just finished reading Issues 282 (the one where the Werehog fights the Gaia Pheonix) and SU 85 - Eggman's Dozen 3 of 4. 

I have polar opposite opinions on both of them. 

The issue where Sonic fought the Dark Gaia Pheonix, I thought was all-around terrible. I can't even bullshit around or sugarcoat anything here when I say that too. I wanted to say after reading it that one of the problems has to be how little the staff over there seems to be able to handle good action and don't have much to compromise for that. I wanted to say that but then I read the Eggman issue and realized that the more plausible reason might just be that someone screwed up majorly and didn't care to fix it. The fighting in this issue was pathetic. It was pathetically drawn and pathetically resolved. There was this really odd still frame of the white tiger, just standing there with her leg outward while a bad guy from behind clanked his sword against the metal extension from her hair. It looked like someone had just cut out a picture of someone practicing for their judo class rather then a depiction of someone moving about in the middle of a battle. The story at the end of it with Knuckles and the others brought me a tiny bit more entertainment but not by a whole lot. I was mostly just reeling about how insanely simple the handling of this was. I honestly like the way the Pheonix was handled in Unleashed better. At least with the added effect of it being a game the fight comes off as much more epic and with just Sonic and Chip around it doesn't make for an excessive amount of freedom fighters and ninja goons joining the fray so that they can ultimately churn out an appearance that makes them come off less than superfluous.  

 

On the flip side, the Eggman's Dozen issue might very well be the best issue of this comic I've read since... I dunno when. I think maybe the Champions arc. I always love it when the issues manage to invest me into a story like this. These people are so much more interesting to follow during their whole team dynamic because they don't feel like card-board cut-outs of your typical furry animal hero that each new section of the Freedom Fighters can't help but introduce. I can actually distinguish personality to personality here and even better, their function as a team that reluctantly (some more than others and some not at all) work for Eggman make what they do and say and how they play off each other far more entertaining. I love them all honestly. The comics have always been able to make the villains the most interesting of it's characters but having such juxtaposition to work off of really sets it home. Unlike the other issue, I loved the action in this. The moves they were doing were simple but it had the added benefit of each team being in a dire situation that could only be halted by the urgent success of the team before them. And because each sector was already in the middle of their own conflict, seeing their battles conclude makes for more badass moments rather then disappointing "stilted frame" fests. I could even see that the drawing in the movement was far better. There was actual motion blur on the Battle Kuku Lord's hands when he swung his arm back and lines that followed the swing of his arm when he threw bombs around. It was great.

Nothing gets me more excited then seeing villains DO shit together. It's even better when the system they have is a unique enough one that can hold my attention and make me eager to see what happens next.

I probably have to catch a bus or something when it comes to the heroes at the moment though... 

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7 hours ago, Dr. Chaotix said:

Alright. So I just finished reading Issues 282 (the one where the Werehog fights the Gaia Pheonix) and SU 85 - Eggman's Dozen 3 of 4. 

I have polar opposite opinions on both of them. 

The issue where Sonic fought the Dark Gaia Pheonix, I thought was all-around terrible

I got my issues yesterday. I agree, the Phoenix battle was... kinda underwhelming. I personally felt it was just rushed to hell and back. I preferred the extra story with

Spoiler

Mighty and Knock Knock It's Knuckles.

 

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I got 282 yesterday too btw, and yea my sentiments pretty much echo everyone else's: extremely underwhelming on a story front and the lack of dynamism in the fight scenes. The backup story was slightly better, but not by much. They seriously need to go back to telling one story per issue, this two story format really isn't doing it for me. I know they're trying to squeeze as much story as possible, but it just makes both stories suffer in the end. 

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1 hour ago, Mister X said:

86 has no fan letters either. Are they getting rid of Sonic Grams? Not really bothered by it, it just seems weird.

I don't know. Would be quite out of the blue to stop doing them after more than 2 decades.

I don't think this is the first time they've done it, but I wouldn't recall when.

And I just noticed that they lazily copy and pasted Nephthy in 86 first page from issue 279. Wat?

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There definitely was a time when the Sonic Grams were completely absent. When I started reading the comics for the first time (which was early in Ian's run), there was no trace of them, including no fan art. I think they may have started reappearing in the Mogul story arc? I know they were gone as late as the Enerjak saga.

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I'm very certain they're just giving Sonic Grams a break in favor of showing off more background information of the world and submitted fan art. I don't see any reason for them to remove Sonic Grams, especially without telling anyone. If anything, they likely ran out of fan mail to reasonably respond to and are waiting for some to be sent.

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Early on in Flynn's run Sonic-Grams was put on break, with short blurbs being put at the end to tell people what was coming up (#177 springs to mind), and maybe in a couple instances prior to that as well.

Unfortunately, the page space doesn't get re-allocated for more interior pages xP

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29 minutes ago, Zaysho said:

Unfortunately, the page space doesn't get re-allocated for more interior pages xP

Anyone remember how sometimes, during the early Flynn era, there would be these inserts that were several pages worth of a comic that was advertising something? Not made by anyone at Archie at all, just ads in the form of comics that were several pages long. There was a Teen Titans one in the comic where Tommy died, a Batman comic that was advertising Big League Chew in the issue where Bunnie and Antoine were getting married, and a comic about Goldfish crackers playing hide-and-seek in one of the Enerjak issues (you can't make this stuff up). I recall that I read once on Dan Drazen's review site that the Sonic Grams were eliminated temporarily because of these comic inserts being added. I would actually like to try to find it again on his site, but sadly, it looks like Drazen removed all the reviews from his site without a trace, for whatever reason. :\ I'm fairly confident I remember something to this effect, though I may or may not have gotten the specifics right.

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